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Iranian lifestyle

What is exactly Tasu’a, Ashura?

The current article is going to clarify what is exactly Tasu’a, Ashura and what happens during the day of Ashura in Iran.

Iran’s streets, squares, building and every town are decorated with black banners and green calligraphy to mark the first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram. This is the month during which enemies of Imam Hussein (PBUH) martyred him in an unfair battle. 

Millions of Iranians converge on the streets and gather in mosques with heavy hearts to honor the memory of Imam Hussein (PBUH). They read spirited eulogy reading and deliver sermons recounting the event of Karbala. And what befell Imam Hussein and his companions. What is exactly Tasu’a Ashura 

Mourning ceremonies in Muharram represent the eternal and uncompromising stance of truth and righteousness against deception. They symbolize humanity’s resistance against unfairness and oppression. People commemorate Muharram to keep remembering the causes Imam Hussein was martyred for. What is exactly Tasu’a Ashura 

What happens in Iran during this month

In Iran, people hold processions during the first nine days of Muharram until the Day of Ashura, literally translated “the tenth day” in Arabic, when Imam Hussein and his 72 companions were martyred in Karbala for refusing an allegiance with Yezid I, the 2nd Umayyad caliph, in 680 AD.

What is exactly Tasu’a Ashura

One day before Ashura, known as the Day of Tasu’a, every body mourn for Abbas ibn Ali, Imam Hussein’s half-brother, for his bravery and sacrifices. Although Abbas ibn Ali served as a commander in the army of Imam Hussein, he was murdered. In fact while he wanted to bring water for his and his brother’s family, the opponent army killed him violently. Besides, he stayed faithful to Imam Hussein until the last moment despite Yezid’s safe conduct granted only to him.

On the Day of Tasu’a, the army of Yezid surrounded Imam Hussein and his companions from all sides. They banned him and his family from having access to water as he refused to accept the governance of Yezid. What is exactly Tasu’a Ashura 

In the evening of Ashura, the day Imam Hussein was martyred, Yezid’s army took his family captive. He transferred them to the then Levant. His sister, Zeinab (PBUH), gave eloquent sermon in the court of Yazid. From that time until now, the followers of Imam Hussein, known as Shias mourn and commemorate in order to remember that Imam Hussein resisted and gave up bending to corruption of rulers of his time.

During almost the last 14 century, the forms and the traditions of mourning have changed over and over but it has never stopped or eliminated. Instead, different conceptions and norms have been created.

What is exactly Tasu’a Ashura

The traditions after the evidence of Ashura

Since many incidents have happened during the day of Ashura, many manners, habits or daily behaviors have been brought out. For instance as Abbas ibn Ali was martyred while he was bringing water for kids and women. As a consequence, people have willingly accepted that younger ones drink water first and then, others. In addition, in all the streets in Tehran or other cities, you find small voluntary groups who offer you drinks like hot tea, hot milk, and hot chocolate milk if Tasu’a and Ashura are during winters. People drink cold special Iranian sweet or ice cream if it is during summer.

By the same token, believers make vows to pay him their respect by distributing especial dishes whether it’s food for launch, dinner or, it’s sweet desserts, confections etc. This kind of vows are also visible in Blood donation, doing charity etc. However, the most famous form of vow is giving votive food among the mourners mainly poor ones.

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